Our Mission

Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s (SCSJ) Justice System Reform Program promotes social, economic, and racial justice by focusing on directly affected communities who bear the brunt of our deeply flawed and intractably racist system of mass incarceration. Informed and led by community input, we use litigation, organizing, issue advocacy campaigns, communications, and expert policy analysis in a braided approach to disrupt, dismantle, and reimagine. Our work seeks to support, protect, and empower safe and healthy communities while creating a less punitive, more accountable criminal legal system.

Our Work

Support Second Chances

We focus on helping individuals who have experienced involvement with the criminal legal system to navigate the reentry process.

End Mass Incarceration

SCSJ seeks to reduce the number of people entering and remaining in the criminal legal system. 

Promote Youth Justice

SCSJ supports communities of color and grassroots organizations working to end the over-criminalization of youth. 

Current Partners


North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is a proud member of the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NCCADP). SCSJ and NCCADP partner to brainstorm strategies for not only raising awareness and educating the public about the injustice of the death penalty, but also for ending the death penalty in North Carolina altogether.

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UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) is partnering with a UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health graduate student team to discuss and analyze the “justice” system in North Carolina, as well as community-led preventative programs and alternatives to criminalization that impact youth and their community.


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Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit 2024

This toolkit serves as a guide for most common expunctions in North Carolina. Expunction laws, filing requirements, and forms frequently change. SCSJ will update the Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit periodically.


#CounselorsNotCops Infographics

#CounselorsNotCops Infographics Reveal Policing Disparities in Wake County Public Schools

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Fair Chance Business Infographics

Fair Chance hiring considers an applicant’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction or arrest record.

Justice System Reform News

Justice System Reform

REPORT: North Carolina’s Education System Stuck in Cycle of Racism 

DURHAM (May 1, 2024) – Significant racial disparities continue to infect North Carolina’s school system, disproportionately impacting students of color, according to Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s 2022-23 Racial Equity Report Cards, or RERCs.   The RERCs provide annual insight into how school systems are achieving equity in three categories: career and college preparedness, short-term suspensions,…

Read More REPORT: North Carolina’s Education System Stuck in Cycle of Racism 

Our Cases

Justice System Reform

State v. James Richardson

James Richardson is an innocent man serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. In 2011, James Richardson was arrested and capitally charged with the murders of Landon Blackley and Andrew Kirby in Pitt County, NC. Following a hotly contested trial, James was convicted and given two life sentences.

Read More State v. James Richardson
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Justice System Reform

Karon Joye

SCSJ is submitting a clemency petition to the Juvenile Sentencing Review Board (JSRB) on behalf of Karon Joye. Karon was sentenced to over 34 years in prison for a crime he committed when he was 14 years old.

Read More Karon Joye
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Key Contacts